John Archer

Show Count: 3
Series Count: 0
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Old Time Radio
Born: May 8, 1915 , Osceola, Nebraska, USA
Died: December 3, 1999, Redmond, Washington, USA

John Archer (June 9, 1925 – January 6, 2009) was an American movie and television actor.

Early life

Archer was born Ralph Bowman in Osceola in Polk County in eastern Nebraska, the son of Eunice M. (née Crawford) and Joseph E. Bowman. Archer moved to California at the age of five. He attended Hollywood High School and the University of Southern California, where he studied cinematography, expecting work behind the camera.


When finding work in the field proved difficult, he drifted into acting, working as a radio announcer and actor (including one year in the starring role of Lamont Cranston in "The Shadow") appearing on Broadway in The Day Before Spring, and in film in a number of movie serials for Universal and Republic under his birth name. In a radio contest sponsored by Jesse L. Lasky, he won the top prize, an RKO contract in the name of "John Archer." His screen credits include Hello, Frisco, Hello, Guadalcanal Diary, White Heat, Destination Moon, Rock Around the Clock, Ten Thousand Bedrooms, a role as the town doctor in the classic Budd Boetticher directed film Decision at Sundown starring Randolph Scott, andBlue Hawaii. In 1971, he was featured in Universal Pictures's movie How to Frame a Figg starring Don Knotts.

On March 11, 1955, Archer appeared in the last episode of Jim Davis's syndicated Stories of the Century as L.H. Musgrove, who steals a herd of horses from a railroad stockyard. Davis, as Southwest Railroad investigator Matt Clark, tracks the stolen herd, and his associate, Margaret Jones, played by Kristine Miller, investigates a murder at the railroadtelegraph office. The detectives soon suspect that both matters are related. In 1868, Musgrove was sprung from jail and lynched by a vigilante mob in Denver, Colorado.

Television career

Archer thereafter appeared in dozens of television series, including Jim Davis' second series, the syndicated Rescue 8, and CBS's Armstrong Circle Theatre, Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater, and The Millionaire. Archer also was cast on NBC's The Loretta Young Show, Private Secretary, and The Bob Cummings Show.

He also appeared on This Man Dawson, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, The Californians, Sea Hunt, Maverick, The Twilight Zone, The Tall Man, Surfside 6, 77 Sunset Strip,Wagon Train, Hawaiian Eye, McHale's Navy, Bonanza, Mannix, and The Name of the Game.

In 1960, Archer was cast as Joe Holman in the episode "Phantom Trail" of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, Colt .45. Don "Red" Barry appears in this segment as Stevens. The episode was directed by Lew Landers.

Archer made five guest appearances on CBS's Perry Mason. Among them he played Frank Maddox in the show's second episode in 1957 entitled, "The Case of the Sleepwalker's Niece." In 1958 he played murder victim Major Frank Lessing in "The Case of the Sardonic Sergeant," and in 1959 he played murderer J.R. Bradbury in "The Case of the Lucky Legs." He also made seven guest appearances on Lassie, and six on Bonanza.

Archer played the outlaw Matt Grundy in the episode "The Confederate Express" (January 30, 1962) of NBC's Laramie series. Grundy arrives in Laramie, Wyoming, with a scheme to win back the affection of his wife, Martha, portrayed by Peggy Webber, and their young daughter, Tina. As a favor to their neighbor, Martha, series characters Slim Sherman and Jess Harper (John Smith and Robert Fuller) defend Grundy, who is pursued by the Kerrigan brothers, played by Harry Dean Stanton, Steve Brodie, and James Beck. Grundy fools Slim and Jess into thinking that he must reach Laramie to deposit a bank draft, but he really intends to rob the bank. Grundy had saved Jess from being injured while he was repairing the wheel of a stagecoach, but then injects him with a dangerous chemical to keep him from talking after Jess learns that Grundy is indeed an outlaw. Grundy shoots Slim in the arm. As he dies, Grundy asked Slim to make sure that Martha receives the reward money on his head.

Personal life

Archer was married twice. From 1941 to 1955, he was wed to actress Marjorie Lord, thereafter co-star of The Danny Thomas Show. The couple had two children, including daughterAnne. He had two children with his second wife, Ann Leddy, as well, to whom he was married from 1966 until his death from a Road traffic accident in Redmond, Washington.

Source: Wikipedia

Broadcast: March 18, 1945
Added: Apr 12 2022
Broadcast: 11th February 1945
Starring: John Archer
Added: Feb 11 2005
Broadcast: 21st January 1945
Starring: John Archer
Added: Jan 21 2005